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Alexander T.

Brooklyn, NY

$60/hour

Special Education Teacher

In-person lessons

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New York University
History
Long Island University
Master's

Education

New York University (History)

Long Island University (Master's)

About Alexander

Statement of Education Philosophy

I believe the purpose of an education is to empower students with the knowledge and skills to decide their destiny and to participate in democracy on their own terms.

I. Learning is Inquiry-Based

Teachers provide the materials and create the situations that allow students to construct their own knowledge. A teacher is responsible for discovering how a student learns and then creating the proper environment for inquiry. Students learn best when they come to their own conclusions about a topic. To this end, a teacher must provide students with enough information from all sides to allow students to come to an informed and comprehensive conclusion. Teachers enable learners to develop into responsible, critical adults by providing them with an inquiry context to act as such.

II. All Education is Political

There is no such thing as a “neutral” education. Since it is impossible to teach everything, education by nature is selective. In selecting what to teach and how to teach it, teachers make a political decision. It is impossible to maintain or feign neutrality in this situation. “I didn’t pretend to an objectivity that was neither possible or desirable,” writes Howard Zinn in his autobiography “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train.” Without acknowledging this bias, content and knowledge provided by the teacher are privileged and inquiry is impossible. Only by beginning with an acceptance of our own biases and opinions is progress possible. I am upfront and honest to students that, for the most part, they are getting my view. I encourage them to be critical of it and all views, especially those that claim to be neutral.

Students do not come to school without political knowledge. They have experiences at home and in their communities, and they have questions. When education professes neutrality, students become disinterested in it. What use do they have of an education that professes neutrality in a world that is so clearly not neutral?

III. All Learners Have Potential

I have believed that everyone has the same potential as learners for as long as I can remember. These beliefs solidified for me when I was a high school student. I watched the majority of my friends become disinterested in school. Most of them barely graduated. I knew then that “performance,” as measured by grades and tests, is a poor predictor of an individual’s actual skills and abilities. Their abilities as the people I knew as my friends and their abilities as students in school were disconnected.

I know that all students have an amazing amount of potential within them. As a special education teacher, I believe it is our responsibility to discover ways to allow students to express that potential. How can I create a lesson where this student can show his innate intelligence? What sort of lesson will build on the strengths of this student? This process requires patience and persistence. I have never given up on a student, and never would.

IV. Students Need Opportunities to Be Powerful

It seems to adolescents that they have very little power or control over their lives. From their parents at home to police on the subway and teachers in school, they feel constantly repressed. Students need opportunities to exercise their inexorable will to create. Therefore, I believe strongly in after-school activities and community service projects.

If it were not for the Journalism room in my high school, I might not have graduated in time. I went there so I would not cut class. I eventually became editor of the yearbook, and that responsibility forced me to become a better student. In the Journalism room, students ran things and the teacher facilitated. Community service projects and team sports provide similar opportunities for students. Students have power in these places, and can exercise their impressive ability to create, whether it is a yearbook, a fresh coat of paint or a free throw.

Without opportunities to act as responsible and capable persons students will act irresponsibly and believe they are incapable. Inquiry-based learning places the onus of responsibility on the student to create knowledge. By acknowledging bias, students’ opinions and feelings are recognized as legitimate (as long as they are based in reality, of course). My persistent belief in their potential forces me to strive to ensure equality of opportunity for all learners. Throughout everything, however, my focus is always on challenging students to become capable and critical adults.


Statement of Education Philosophy

I believe the purpose of an education is to empower students with the knowledge and skills to decide their destiny and to participate in democracy on their own terms.

I. Learning is Inquiry-Based

Teachers provide the
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Policies
Cancellation
24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 3 miles of Brooklyn, NY 11222
In-person lessons

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

New York University
History
Long Island University
Master's

Education

New York University (History)

Long Island University (Master's)

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $60.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Alexander will travel within 3 miles of Brooklyn, NY 11222.